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Composer Dinuk Wijeratne's "Two Pop Songs on Antique Poems"

Excerpts from this string quartet are included in The Royal Conservatory of Music's Violin Orchestral Excerpts 9-ARCT, 2021 Edition book


The Violin Channel recently discussed the string quartet with Dinuk Wijeratne, a JUNO and multi-award-winning composer, conductor, and pianist. Dinuk is also a creativity consultant for Canada's Glenn Gould School and the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, among others.

"Two Pop Songs on Antique Poems" presents two movements: "A letter from the after-life" and "I will not let you go."

"The commissioners — the amazing Afiara Quartet — came to me with the brief of writing music for classical string quartet that could be inspired by Pop in some way," Dinuk Wijeratne told The Violin Channel.

"I particularly love the catchy tunes and looping grooves that you find in your favourite Pop songs. But the concept for the pieces soon became a 'stew' of influences that I wanted to explore at the time: the loops and grooves of Pop as well as those of Indian tabla music; the intersection of the contemporary with old or 'antique' influences such as centuries-old poetry; and quotations from a favourite Schubert string quartet that happened to sound like Pop and Metal music. I threw everything into the pot and tried to come up with my own recipe! The pieces were later remixed by the amazing DJ Skratch Bastid."



"This piece appears in Violin Orchestral Excerpts 9-ARCT, 2021 Edition book. No extended techniques are needed, but keeping a solid groove and making it 'cook' is important!

You can read more about the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) Violin Series, 2021 Edition, here.

"In Classical music performance, pitch and intonation are rightly so important, and certainly we must strive to play beautifully and melodically, but what we can and must learn from Pop, Jazz, and so much World Music is the ability to create maximum impact with rhythm and 'feel,'" Dinuk added. "When I listen to my favourite musicians whom I would describe as having an incredible 'time feel,' I am responding to the fact that they have developed a compelling rhythmic personality in their music-making. And this is just so exciting and compelling!"



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